Richie Kyle lauded the attitude of his youth team yesterday evening, after they put in a gutsy performance in their season's curtain closer against Oldham Athletic.
The Seasiders were beaten on penalties in the LFA Professional Youth Cup after conceding a last-minute equaliser, and a number of players wore tangerine for the final time.
The team put out at Bloomfield Road was a mix of players departing, some moving into the first team and those who’ll be with Kyle next season.
“I said to the second years who are leaving us now, it was an unbelievable attitude to go out and show the attitude on that pitch and put in the performance they did, that is the kind of lads they are and the characters I have in that dressing room,” said Kyle.
“They could have let their heads drop knowing they’re not getting a professional contract. They didn’t, they stuck at it and as for the young lads, I had a young 15-year-old Sam (Roscoe) who stepped in and he looked like he’d been playing there all season.”
Pool were beaten 4-3 on penalties by The Latics after the hosts had been the better side. It denied Blackpool a shot at the double, despite a goal on his debut from Sam Roscoe.
“They’ve achieved so much this season by winning the league and this was sort of a bonus for them. It would have been nice to do the double, I thought we were the better team, I thought we out-played them at times and deserved to win the game.
“Sometimes football isn’t straight-forward, we got done by a worldie strike and penalties are a lottery. These lads deserve their reward at the end of the season with the league title, because that was important to us.
“It’s been a long season, not many people can walk away with league titles. It shows how consistent they’ve been. We were the best team, we proved it, but fair play to Oldham, they stuck in there and it was a fantastic finish.”
Following the spot-kicks every Blackpool player stayed out on the pitch as Oldham lifted the trophy, and the 29-year-old coach felt they’ll only learn from the experience.
“There are ups and down in football, you’re going to get lots of downs and it’s how you react to them. The character of these lads they’ll leave with their heads held high, that’s football.
“They’re not going to win every game and every trophy. They’re young lads and they’ll learn from this,” said Kyle.